Urlacher was forced to wear a cast on his wrist for 12 weeks and spend a month in therapy to recover from the injury.
The Bears finished the season with a 7–9 record, and missed the playoffs for the third consecutive year.
After winning the NFL Rookie of the Year Award in 2000, he was elected to eight Pro Bowls, and won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2005.
Urlacher was born to Bradley and Lavoyda Urlacher in Pasco, Washington, and his parents raised him with his younger brother Casey.
While his mother worked several jobs to keep her family afloat, Urlacher spent his teenage years playing sports for Lovington High School and training in weight rooms.
The training helped Urlacher gain the speed, stamina, and strength he would need to solidify his football career.
Urlacher played his second career playoff game against the Carolina Panthers on January 15, 2006.
He recorded seven tackles and one interception in a 29–21 loss.
Urlacher led the Bears to an 11-5 record, marking their best finish since 2001.
The team's success prompted Franchione to leave New Mexico in favor of Texas Christian University.
His departure prompted the school to hire Rocky Long, a former coach at UCLA. Despite Long's extensive changes to the team's roster, formations, and work ethic, the Lobos' performance declined.
The Bears selected Urlacher with the ninth overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.
Urlacher quickly established himself as one of the NFL's most productive defensive players.
He was elected to the 2006 All-Pro Team and 2007 Pro Bowl, while also earning consideration for the League's Defensive Player of the Year award.